Microsoft is sending a clear message that it wants to reach consumers on popular mobile platforms. That’s an understandable move, but with a lack of a true Windows Phone flagship this holiday and hints that unique features like Cortana will make their way to Android and iOS, it leaves Windows Phone in an odd spot. If all of Microsoft’s core apps and services work better on Android and iOS, it makes Windows Phone a lot less appealing. If Microsoft can’t even make good apps for Windows, there’s not a lot of hope left for third-party app developers to build for Microsoft’s mobile platform. Couple that with the Windows tablet and phone app gap, and the future looks increasingly bleak. Appealing to Android and iOS users might be Microsoft’s goal, but there’s only so long Windows users will remain loyal.
While Microsoft has shifted focus back on traditional desktop Windows, Windows’ Metro environment and Windows Phone seem to be on a path towards irrelevance. Microsoft’s own applications for these platforms suck, third party applications generally suck or do not exist at all, while Microsoft’s applications on iOS and Android are thriving and well-received.
It’s easy to read too much into this – but it’s also very hard not to.
Turns out Satya Nadella read consumer history at school, which reads something like “there’s a place for monopolies, duopolies, but not triopolies”.
So he’s turning it into a service company. Good move. The only move.